How low can you go?

Burning Cash?For the last year or so, I have been living on a monthly budget of 200 dollars or less. If I talk about this to friends living in the US or Europe, they will feel pity for me about having such a bad time.

The thing is, 200 dollars is more than enough, thanks to the generosity of the people around me, and some easy-going frugality. When living in Cartagena, I have a near free room that at the same time is a near free home office. My neighbors pass on their DSL to me via a 20-meter ethernet cable through a hole in their wall, and the best bars in the city are cheap, because you just open them yourself with a bunch of beers and a sunbed at the beach.

Of course I wasn’t able to live like a king. But I still got to have the best coffee in the world, eat a lot of ice cream, meet a lot of beautiful people, and seeing some great new places while traveling around Venezuela, the Amazon region of Brazil and Colombia, the Andes and Central America.

For me, this experiment holds a lesson: It shows me how low I can go. And a chance: It gave me time to think about what I wanted to do with my life and start making it a reality. If you’re up for some change in your life, maybe the next time you’re about to burn some cash, why not skip it and try to go low?

The Idle Musings are short posts of 300 words maximum. They are published on The Friendly Anarchist every other Tuesday. Grab the RSS feed to get them right into your reader.